Poutine—the signature Canadian dish of french fries, gravy, cheese, and other toppings, isn't the only thing cooking this summer. Montreal, a worldwide mecca of culinary innovation and Instagraming foodies, serves up creative cuisine that infuses the best from local harvests with the inventive ideas from Montreal's top chefs. With cheap tickets available to Montreal, you can sample what's on the menu in this fabulous cosmopolitan city.
New York City isn't on the only metropolis with a claim to making some of the world's best bagels. The Montreal bagel is small and dense, very different from the giant, chewy versions in New York, are wood-fired, and just as popular as bagels found at a Big Apple deli. Montreal's two biggest bagel joints are St.-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel. If you're still feeling hungry, the city is filled with creperies, including Crepanita and Crepe Mount Royal, which makes a range of traditional and less-traditional crepes, as well as crepes made with buckwheat flour—an option for travelers who cannot tolerate gluten.
Lamb curry tacos, anyone? Montreal's first taco truck – Grumman '78 – offers hungry people an amazing selection of items you never thought would end up in a taco shell. From its neon-green truck, Grumman '78 staff serves lamb curry tacos as well as slow-roasted pork belly tacos with pickled carrot and roasted sesame seeds or veggie-feta tacos, as well as many others. Inspired by a 2010 trip to Mexico, three Montreal chefs put their heads and money together to buy an Grumman delivery truck and make their own version of Mexican cuisine available in Montreal. If you can't find the truck on the street, there's a Grumman '78 food stand in the Faubourg Saint-Catherine mall food court selling tacos year-round. Lunch at the truck won't break your wallet. Be sure to leave room for a pumpkin-spiced whoopie pie.
The name may sound all-American, but Joe Beef is a modern twist on the French bistro emphasizing local ingredients, including Quebecois smoked meats and cheeses. Visited by chef celebrities Anthony Bourdain and David Chang, Joe Beef has quickly risen to the top of Canada's best restaurants since opening in 2005. The restaurant is rustic and casual, and an homage to Charles "Joe-Beef" McKiernan, an Irish immigrant who built a life and a business during 19th century Montreal, and was known for always keeping British soldiers fed and operating a tavern and inn. Today' Joe Beef is open Tuesday to Saturday starting at 6 pm. Diners rave about Joe Beef's steaks, oyster bars, foie gras, rabbit dishes, and the wine list. This place is for the carnivorous types who aren't counting calories or vacationing on a budget.
After a meat coma from Joe Beef, there's Crudessence, whipping up Montreal's best vegan and raw desserts. Crudessence's blueberry cheesecake made from macademia and cashew nut puree is said to be legendary for its richness. The menu offers gluten-free desserts, key lime pie, banana splits, and chocolate mousse made from raw cacao. Crudessences is also a popular spot for brunch, lunch, and as a place to relax and enjoy a smoothie. There are a few locations to choose from, depending on your sightseeing adventures that day.
Do any of you foodies out there have any other suggestions for Montreal eats? Tell us about it on the CheapOair Facebook page!
Photo Credit: guylaine_lheureux